Albert Einstein once said-“I don’t know what warfare techniques would be used in the world war-3 but I know that world war -4 would be fought with sticks & stones”: True enough! After looking at the present scene of human relationships, this is what one concludes.
We live in a world full of vulnerable relationships. We find lack of trust, misunderstanding & mal-adjustment everywhere these days. Conflicts & contradictions are on a rise. Marriages have become a compromise; parents have become a liability, siblings are getting distanced & love relationships are being exceedingly unsuccessful as the partners turn fleetingly disloyal & in the rare case that a couple is truly committed, the peer group empathically asks, “Dude, still stuck with the same chick? You so need a life!” What does the poor guy say then, “No thanks; I am truly committed”? He wouldn’t like to be the butt of everyone’s jokes for sure. It seems the fragrance of dollar notes is the only religion known to man today.
Looking at the present scenario in this light is really disheartening. So is the feeling that along with the rest of the world, our own relationships are being tested at all times. None of us would be pleased to find out the fragility of our pivotal relationships; most of the time, we don’t even try because we fear the truth might be too bitter for us to digest. Television shows like Sach ka Samna & Emotional Atyachaar bring to focus the same fear; but why do we avoid confronting such questions when we know that facing them and steering a way out would actually save the relationship? Is it because of man’s greatest enemy ‘fear’? Or is it because of insecurity? Well, the answer could be any of the two, but it is shocking to know that in most of the cases the answer is neither. The only reason we tend to avoid questioning our relationships most of the time is —lack of time. 24 hours don’t seem to be enough for work, let alone relationships. No wonder then that people look at relationships as a source of entertainment, something that is meant to fulfill them, rather than taking them as bonds that needs mutual understanding, compassion and lots of love and care. The tendency is to take relationships for granted.
On pondering why this happens, the first thing that comes to mind is ‘ego’. Ego literally means, ‘self’. And ‘self’ is made up of two entities, ‘I’ & ‘Body’. Here, ‘I’ refers to the innateness of any individual and ‘body’ is the physical aspect. ‘I’ seeks happiness while ‘Body’ requires physical facilities and worldly pleasures. Ego originates from the accumulation of wealth and leads to a distorted sense of happiness which makes one feel superior to others, when actually one has been hurt and humiliated and is carrying that baggage. Hence, removing a part of it by pouring it onto others by hurting them, gives one sadistic joy. Consequently, relationships are stressed. Ego also makes one rigid hence leading to adjustment problems. The proverb that ‘First the man creates the ego, and then the ego consumes the man’ is valid in this sense.
The second reason is the feeling of insecurity in relationships. This stems from elements like dishonesty, and leads to lack of trust and misunderstanding. Lying and cheating has become a trend these days. We lie to our seniors and supervisors for petty incentives; we lie to our friends mostly by bragging; we lie to our family to make them feel we are as innocent as we claim to be but in the bargain, we end up lying to ourselves. Homer has stated in this context “Of all the creatures that creep & breathe on the earth there is none more wretched than the man”.
The third reason of breaking up of relations these days is disharmony. We stray greatly from what is naturally acceptable to all of us. For example, we all love our parents & never want to leave them but still the culture of nuclear-families is on the rise. Nobody likes to be bossed around. We let ourselves be driven by our beliefs & pre-conditionings without analyzing or evaluating them. We become so narrow-minded in the pursuit that we tend to be upset & hurt others over trivial disagreements. No wonder, Intolerance is the most dominant characteristic these days. Mahatma Gandhi was very right in saying “Wildlife is decreasing in forests but increasing in cities”.
Another great reason for relationships not working out is disrespect. “With great freedom come great responsibilities” is a true yet neglected saying. It needs to be implemented. As the liberty increases and the time at hand decreases, the tendency to express our frustration to anyone or anything susceptible increases. Not only do we disrespect other human beings, especially elders, but also mother nature. The reckless deforestation & poaching is a clear indication of the same. Also, the carelessness with which we cause pollution & spoil the aesthetic appeal of our surroundings brings to light the same phenomenon. Adlai Stevenson was right in saying, “Nature is neutral. Man has wrestled the power to make the world a desert or to make the deserts bloom. There is no evil in the atom; only in the men’s souls”. We misuse our rights & abuse our duties. Subsequently, we spoil our relationships, not only with other individuals, but also the environment & with every unit of existence at large.
Now, time for the big question- what is the way out? The ultimate solution to all problems in relationships is: Introspection. If we try to understand what is naturally acceptable to us & to everybody at large, and then act accordingly, we would never go wrong. Identifying one’s relationship with every unit of existence & fulfilling it would greatly reduce the problem. Knowing about human conduct, character & behavior would lead to harmony within us, with our parents, society & ultimately, the entire existence. Understanding the universal human values would lead to zero fallacy in relationships. We want something, think something else, and do another thing & then complaint that we aren’t happy. We do not make time to introspect. We don’t try to find out what is it that we really want, why do we want it & how to achieve it. We look for answers everywhere without realizing that it is within ourselves that we would find the solutions to all the problems.